Strange Font and Hover Behavior in Firefox 2 Mac only

Posted on 2008-06-26
Last Modified: 2013-12-07
I have simple page (I thought!) that uses CSS to implement some basic text and navigation. The following behavior is observed in Firefox 2 on a Mac only. Everything seems fine on Safari (Mac), IE, and Firefox PC.

Again the link to my test page is:

There are couple of strange things I am seeing. Not sure if they are related.
1. General font appearance changes:
- The page loads and all text looks ok.
- Scroll down and all text that was off screen is bold, but text that was on screen (and is still on screen) is still "normal".
- Refresh (Command-R) and all on screen text is now bold.
- Scroll up and text that was offscreen is "normal", but text that was on screen (and is still on screen) is still "bold".
- Refresh again and all text on screen is back to "normal".

2. Font weight changes with hover.
- The page loads and all text looks ok.
- Hovering over one of the text navigation items to the left causes them to become bold (and underlined, but that is by design).
- When not hovering, the text remains bold.

Is this a Firefox issue or am I doing something bad is CSS? Seems strange that this is the only browser that has issues and only the Mac version. I am also using a CSS browser reset, but haven't had this issue in the past. Should I be implementing this a better way?

I can elaborate more if needed. Thanks for you help!
body {
	color: rgb(240,228,228);
	background: rgb(76,26,30);
	font-family: Arial;
	text-decoration: none;
	font-weight: normal;
	font-style: normal;
	font-size: 28px;
	font-size: 22px;
	font-size: 15px;
	font-style: italic;
	opacity: 0.6;
	text-decoration: none;
	color: rgb(240,228,228);
a:hover {
	text-decoration: underline;
	width: 950px;
	margin-top: 0px;
	margin-left: 0px;
	background: rgb(82,36,50);
	float: left;
	width: 950px;
	float: left;
/* Left Nav */
	width: 177px;
	float: left;
	font-size: 13px;
#left_nav ul{
	line-height: 23.28px;
	padding-left: 10px;
	list-style-type: none;
	list-style-position: outside;
	list-style-image: none;
/* Main copy */
	width: 324px;
	float: left;
	font-size: 12px;
	line-height: 15px;
	padding-bottom: 15px;	
	border-bottom-style: dotted;
	border-bottom-width: 1px;
	padding-top: 10px;
#copy_foot ul{
	list-style-type: none;
	list-style-position: outside;
	list-style-image: none;
#copy_foot ul li{
	display: inline;
	width: 449px;
	float: left;
	text-decoration: underline;
	font-weight: bold;
	font-size: 15px;
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<title>rita de alencar pinto</title>
<STYLE TYPE="text/css">
  @import url("css/reset.css");
	@import url("css/test.css");
<div id="wrapper">
	<div id="main">
		<div id="left_nav">
				<li><a href="index.html">About Salons</a></li>
				<li class="on_bold">+ Current Salon</a></li>
				<li><a href="index.html">Upcoming Salons</a></li>
				<li><a href="index.html">Past Salons</a></li>
		<div id="copy">
			<div id="copy_main">
				<h2>Charlotte Nicholson</h2>
				<h3>by appointment through july 12th</h3>
				<p>Charlotte Nicholsons work is derived from an intuitive repetition of mark making.
					Its physical presence elicits impressions of clouds, steam, fur, a sub-atomic
					world and ambiguity. Using these gestures the artist has developed a series of
					paintings whereby the entire surface of the panel is covered in gold leaf, and
					in the course of time has developed a sensuous patina. The juxtaposition of this
					rich surface and the blue and pink palette stimulates an electric tension. The
					reflective surface draws out some of the marks more than others and leads the
					eye dancing around the pattern. Nicholson has experimented with this tension
					by adopting different size and shape panels and or covering more or less of the
					surface with the mark resulting in a gemlike quality.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> 
					<p>Nicholsons second series directly references the compositions of Jean-Honoré
					Fragonard (17321806), The Progress of Love series from the Frick collection.
					These four panels painted between 1771 and 1773, considered by many to be the
					artists masterpiece and one of the greatest decorative ensembles of the eighteenth
					century. In 1790, Fragonard painted ten additional panels (the two large-scale
					works Love Triumphant and Reverie; four Hollyhocks; and four overdoors of putti)
					to complete The Progress of Love.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
					<p>Nicholson was inspired by the exquisite nature and rendering of this group of
					paintings and how they resonated with her own process of mark marking and color
					palette. She extrapolated the central figure pairings, foliage and sky-scapes
					and re-configured them in her own visual language. The nuance created by the
					abstract volumes derived from the accumulation of Nicholsons mark clearly re-interprets
					these paintings as her own. </p><p>&nbsp;</p>
					<p>The artists mark is the decisive relationship between these two bodies of work.
					In the abstracted landscape of her Fragonard series she has been inspired by
					the sparse application of the paint and the ability of the mark to interpret
					its own density and movement. The gold leaf series takes on these forms with
					no underlying narrative and become the central focus.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
					<p>Graduate of Glasgow School of Art BFA in 2000 and Hunter MFA in 2004, Nicholson
					lives and works in Brooklyn.</p>
		<div id="display">
	<!-- End main -->

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Question by:JagerM
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21880717
Firefox for MAC, version 2 is not well debugged.  The way to be certain of this is to download Mozilla  for Mac (now called seaMonkey -- a stupid name) -- see -- and look for SeaMonkey.

I have been trying to tell everyone that Mozilla (aka. SeaMonkey now) is the most faithful and accurate rendering of the true DOM standard that anyone has produced.  It is much faster and more accuarate than firefox, despite people's obsession with a browser-only replacement for the quirky IE.

If you take the time to install Mozilla -- SeaMonkey 1.1.7--
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071128 SeaMonkey/1.1.7

and you find the page renders correctly in the Mozilla browser, you can be SURE 100% CERTAIN that it is rendering correctly.  I have found so many rendering inconsistencies in firefox, I no longer use it to test important pieces of code.  If it passes a Mozilla SeaMonkey test, it is CORRECT, no if ands or buts.
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21880725
and I forgot to mention the obvious, Mozilla and SeaMonkey are available for MAC.  Just get to the download link for Mozilla seamoney and you will find the choice of either windows or MAC.  Get the MAC, it works great.
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21881085

It seems fine in Firefox on MacOS 10.5.2, 10.4.11, and 10.3.9.


SeaMonkey and Firefox are only two of many browsers that use the Mozilla Gecko engine. The Mozilla Gecko engine does have some bugs, but then no browser is perfect.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21881109
you are quite wrong.  Mozilla has stuck with the original DOM, but firefox has diverged more and more with every release.  It is now to the point that Mozilla remains compliant, and FF3 has MAJOR bugs due to its divergence.  IN fact FF3 is trying to rewrite the DOM to their own specs now -- just like IE has done.
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:David S.
ID: 21881199
Which changes are you annoyed by anyway? And why are you against browsers implementing features that aren't in either DOM2 or DOM3?

Won't SeaMonkey get the changes when it's upgraded to Mozilla 1.9.x?

Author Comment

ID: 21882360
Hmmmmm. Seeing it in Seamonkey too. One thing I just noticed is that I believe it is only happening on pages that have the "opacity" property set for some text values. A quick search finds makes me think this is the culprit. I think I may have solved my own problem....
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 21886521
Not having a MAC right now in front of me, I can't test the actual page for debugging.  I would first remove the dark background, for testing, and then I would specify in each CSS the actual FONT you want (it doesn't appear anywhere) -- then in all CSS designations but the BOLD one, you should specify --


NOT specifying the font, and NOT specifying the weight in each CSS could leave the font status in a bold state on the MAC display.

Accepted Solution

JagerM earned 0 total points
ID: 21886587
Thanks scrathcyboy, but it seems that the opacity designation in CSS was the issue. I removed it and everything works fine. There were a couple of other pages in the design that were using this as well and once the opacity is gone, it all works as it should.

I updated the test style sheet for that link, so if anyone wants to check out the behavior of the fixed version...

Thanks to all.

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